ADHD Naturopath

Today, one out of every five children are diagnosed with a behavior or learning disorder. With ADHD being the most common neurodevelopmental disorder in children and adolescents, with the prevalence in Australia estimated to be between 6% and 10%.  Although in some cases the symptoms of ADHD improve the majority of individuals diagnosed with ADHD in childhood still have symptoms in adolescence and early adulthood. However, we frequently see clients who are well into adulthood seeking support for the symptoms associated with ADHD such as motivation, concentration, memory and mood fluctuations.

Often it is a combination of genetics, nutrient deficiencies or imbalance, chronic gut infection or low microbial diversity, an inability to detoxify well which contributes to an excess of heavy metals and other toxins which cause oxidative stress, along with other lifestyle factors such as emotional stress or trauma.

With so many contributing factors a thorough investigation of all areas of ADHD and overall health is an important part of care. At Integrated Wellness Clinic we offer various functional testing to explore every avenue.

Areas a naturopath will take into consideration:

  1. Nutritional deficiencies: The conventional focus is that there is an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain but if we look a bit deeper and ask how neurotransmitters are made, we then realise that nutrients are the building blocks.  Often symptoms will improve when you address nutrient imbalances or deficiencies, or the reason for these in the first place. Which can be linked to poor diet, or poor absorption.

  2. Genetics:  If you have certain gene polymorphisms there may be an increased need for certain nutrients as is the case in pyroluria or methylation issues. These can affect how neurotransmitters are made, metabolised and cleared.

  3. Microbiome: The microbiome in our digestive tract has a huge role to play in brain health through its effect on the upregulation of proinflammatory cytokines (immune molecules that increase the inflammatory response), altered mitochondrial function, blood-brain barrier or gut permeability changes, and stimulation of the nervous system via the vagus nerve. The gut microbiome also influences available nutrients essential for the developing nervous system e.g. parasites can steal important nutrients like zinc and iron, which are crucial to the creation of our neurotransmitters, or an overgrowth of certain bacteria which create metabolites that affect the brain, such as D-lactate. Lack of specific beneficial bacteria such as Lactobacillus species can also lead to high levels of neuroinflammation and lowered immunity. 

  4. Oxidative Stress: Oxidative stress is a state produced by an imbalance between antioxidants and oxidants in the cells. This imbalance leads to higher levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which increases oxidation of neurons, leading to neuroinflammation.   

  5. Heavy metals: Exposure to heavy metals such as lead, mercury, aluminum, arsenic and cadmium are well known to increase susceptibility to ADHD, as they are neurotoxic and can replace important nutrients such as zinc, iron and selenium in creation of neurotransmitters. Lead especially is associated with mental retardation and hyperactivity. These exposures can take place in utero or can be from an environmental exposure.  

  6. Chemical exposure: Exposure to environmental chemicals, including naphthylamine, nicotine (found in cigarette smoke), bisphenol A, organophosphate pesticides (an OC class), has been linked to the diagnosis of ADHD and related symptoms. 

  7. Elevated copper: Copper is a necessary metal involved in the dopamine pathway however when in excess it can interfere with zinc metabolism, and enhances the biogenic amines.  (neurotransmitters that stimulate brain activity).  The effects of excess copper include hyperactivity, mood swings, anxiety, panic attacks, depression and anti-social behavior.

  8. Yeast Overgrowth: Chronic yeast overgrowth can cause many symptoms in susceptible people, including behavioral changes. A combination of factors lead to the overgrowth of the common yeast, candida albicans, including diets high in sugar and carbohydrates, repeated use of antibiotics that kill the normal intestinal flora, steroid and hormone therapy (like the oral contraceptive pill) and copper imbalance.

ASD Naturopath

Many parents are overwhelmed when their child is diagnosed with Autism as the information available is often confusing and there’s a lot of misinformation about what Autism is and what it means for their child. It is also a spectrum disorder making it complex and fairly difficult to define adequately.

Due to ongoing research into the mysteries of Autism it is now fairly clear that it is an epigenetic gene-regulation disorder where high levels of environmental toxins lead to oxidative stress and DNA methylation alteration. Autistic children also have distinctive chemical and nutrient imbalances.

Due to the epigenetic (environmental) drivers of ASD, there is much naturopathy can do to support the child, especially with early intervention. Naturopathy can help with identifying and correcting chemical imbalances, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain as well as support DNA methylation.

Our Naturopath are competent in supporting you or your child. 

Sunshine Coast - Brisbane - Gold Coast